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Hospital-level care coordination strategies associated with better patient experience
  1. Jose F Figueroa1,2,
  2. Yevgeniy Feyman1,
  3. Xiner Zhou1,
  4. Karen Joynt Maddox3
  1. 1 Health Policy and Management, Harvard T H Chan School of Public Health, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
  2. 2 Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  3. 3 Division of Cardiovascular Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, Missouri, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jose F Figueroa, Health Policy and Management, Harvard T H Chan School of Public Health, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA; jfigueroa{at}


Background Patient experience is a key measure of hospital quality and is increasingly contained in value-based payment programmes. Understanding whether strategies aimed at improving care transitions are associated with better patient experience could help clinical leaders and policymakers seeking to improve care across multiple dimensions.

Objective To determine the association of specific hospital care coordination and transition strategies with patient experience.

Design We surveyed leadership at 1600 acute care hospitals and categorised respondents into three groups based on the strategies used: low-strategy (bottom quartile of number of strategies), mid-strategy (quartiles 2 and 3) and high-strategy (highest quartile). We used linear regression models to examine the association between use of these strategies and performance on measures of patient experience from the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey.

Results We achieved a 62% response rate. High-strategy hospitals reported using 7.7 strategies on average usually or always on their patient populations, while mid-strategy and low-strategy hospitals reported using 5.0 and 2.3 strategies, respectively. Compared with low-strategy hospitals, high-strategy hospitals had a higher overall rating (+2.23 percentage points (pp), P<0.001), higher recommendation score (+2.5 pp, P<0.001), and higher satisfaction with discharge process (+1.35 pp, P=0.01) and medication communication (+1.44 pp, P=0.002). Mid-strategy hospitals had higher scores than low-strategy hospitals except for discharge satisfaction. Patient-facing strategies, like sharing discharge summaries with patients prior to discharge, using discharge coordinators and calling patients 48 hours after discharge, were each individually associated with a higher overall hospital rating, and higher satisfaction with discharge process and medication communication.

Conclusions Hospitals with greater reported use of care coordination and transition strategies have better patient experience than hospitals with fewer reported strategies. Strategies that most directly involve patients have the strongest association with better experience.

  • patient satisfaction
  • healthcare quality improvement
  • quality improvement

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  • Contributors All authors participated in the writing and reviewing of the manuscript.

  • Funding Jose F Figueroa was partially funded by the Harvard Medical School Office for Diversity Inclusion and Community Partnership Fellowship.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Ethics approval The study was approved by Harvard University IRB, Office of Human Research Administration at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.